Sportress of Blogitude

Marcus Smart eager for return to honor ailing mother’s request

Marcus Smart hopes to return to the Boston Celtics as soon as possible and play in the postseason to honor the request of his mother, who has been stricken with bone marrow cancer.

Smart’s 63-year-old mother, Camellia, revealed her diagnosis to the Celtics point guard when he visited her in Texas last week.

Smart last played with the Celtics on March 11 and was late ruled out for the rest of the regular season with a torn ligament in his right thumb. Smart presently is targeting a return for a potential Game 7 against the Milwaukee Bucks in Boston’s first round series. That game, if necessary — the Celtics currently hold a 2-0 series edge — is scheduled for April 28.

Smart revealed ahead of Boston’s 120-106 victory over Milwaukee Tuesday that his mother implored him to be with the team, not with her.

“She told me she’d rather I was here than back there, doing what I love to do, because she loves to watch me play, because that would put a smile on her face, if I got back healthy and back on the court,” Smart said, via ESPN.

Smart lost his older brother to cancer in 2004 when he was only nine years old. Smart is active with his charity, YounGameChanger Foundation, which works with young cancer patients.

It of course has been difficult for Smart to find a balance between working on his rehab, being with his teammates and remaining apprised of his mother’s condition and potential treatments. Although he said he was encouraged by the support and care she was receiving from family and friends.

“You want to be here. I love playing basketball,” Smart said. “A lot of my friends and family were telling me that basketball is my eye of the storm, where I’m the most calm, where I can think and release all that pressure. But it is hard to leave her, knowing the situation. But my family members are all there, and she has everyone around her.”

Smart intends to return to Dallas to visit her mother again soon.